It is a rest day in the Pro Kabaddi League 2017. We have so far witnessed three days of action, that is six matches. And it is too early to comment whether the fifth edition of PKL 5 will be as successful as its preceding seasons. However, what makes us go for an early comparison is that the current season of the league is different from others.
For first four seasons, PKL featured eight teams. The fifth season saw its expansion, and four new teams have been added to the league. While most of the leagues around of the world expand gradually, PKL jumped from eight to 12 teams in just a gap of one season. Also Check- Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Points Table
The addition of teams meant organisers had to carve out a new format and apparently the number of matches increased. In PKL Season 4, which lasted for over a month, a total of 60 matches, including semi finals, 3rd/4th playoff and final, were played.
In contrast, Season 5 will be a three-month long affair with 138 matches. What has worked thus far in favour of the league is the nature of the sport. The home-grown game lasts for an hour and is full of action.
The previous four seasons cashed in on its short and simple schedule and in a month or so the league would finish. The PKL 5 now has 12 teams which have been divided into two zones and the tournament will run for a longer duration this time round. This could well make it a boring affair and could well be confusing for fans to keep track of the league with matches almost every day. So in a way, the move could backfire. Also Check- Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Schedule
In 2016, PKL organisers tried two seasons in one calendar year. The season 3 took place in January-March and then season 4 in June-July the same year. However, the idea to have two seasons in a year was shelved and this year only one season was announced.
First four seasons of PKL have been highly popular, and as per the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), the league is the second most famous league to be watched on Indian Television after the Indian Premier League (IPL). Thus, making it the most watched non-cricket sports league in India.
Having tasted success in its previous seasons, it will be interesting to see what the season 5 of PKL has in store. Will it continue to grab eyeballs at prime time or not? Perhaps only time will tell.